TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – A nearly 50-foot tall cross erected last week next to a church hasn’t delighted some of its neighbors, who see the towering cross as a distraction.
The cross, made from a bridge I-beam and a 35-foot crossbeam and letters 3-1/2 feet tall which spell out "Jesus Saves," was erected last Monday outside Cross Tabernacle along U.S. 41.
Members of the church on Terre Haute’s north side see the cross as a symbol of their religious mission, and concede that it dominates the local landscape.
"It is in-your-face evangelism," said Keith E. Taylor, pastor of the 1,400-member church. "I couldn’t preach a better sermon than what that cross is doing."
The cross was erected after gaining the approval of city zoning officials to exceed a 15-foot height restriction.
Mike Dowell, a co-owner of JJ Smith Flower Shop and Gardens, which owns land next to the church, said he wishes someone from the church had talked with him before the cross was built.
"It overpowers our property that we are trying to sell and our business that has been there over 150 years," he said. "It is good to have some type of religion, as religion is good for the human soul, but I don’t like people trying to shove their religion down my throat. That is overkill."
Tolerance has turned our nation into a group of intolerant wimps. A cross with a message is now shoving religion down your throat. I wonder if this guy has ever vacationed in Rio de Janeiro?